Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why The Democrats Haven't Needed a Plan

People aren’t looking for a plan. They’re looking for a change in perspective. The Republicans have plans out the gazoo. What they don’t have is the theory behind the plans which properly engages the reality It is the ideology and dogma that disallows alternatives, even in the face of failure.

Should we plan? Yes. Once we're in power. In power we'll have the resources available to us to do this right, to investigate the situations, to hold hearings and get expert testimony, to hammer out a real world compromise that both sides can agree with.

Policy dreamed up on the campaign trail can be disastrous when imposed in reality. On the campaign trail you're trying to impress people, play to their prejudices, and create an image. You'll say brilliant things, and when you get into the office, you'll find you were full of shit. What we have presented are proposals, principles, based on advice from the experts in the field.

What you should elect Democrats for is the following:

1) We will be far less willing to accept the lack of security clearance for Congress members by the administration. This is important because many of the policy screw-ups have been the result of congressional ignorance of what's actually going on, an ignorance this administration deliberately cultivates to keep their actions and their means unaccountable to American voters.

2) We will not accept "Staying the Course" regardless of the configuration of the rhetoric used. Plans will be changed. There will be no more aimless wandering in hopes of things improving on their own We will set our goals and get things in motion. A never-ending war only benefits our enemy.

3) We will not be afraid to reform when the occasion presents itself.

4) We will be largely free of the contamination of the K Street Project, which continues despite the fall of a number of its organizers, including Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, still runs under the control of the current majority leader.

5) We are broader in our coalition of political interests, with the new Democrats coming in adding room towards the center and right for those who have been systematically excluded from the GOP by the ideologues of the Far Right.

6) We will look to the passage of real National and Homeland security reforms, and will adhere more strongly to the recommendations of the the 9/11 Commission, rather than write up ill-considered legislation like the PATRIOT Act.

7) We will push for real deficit reduction, by both spending cuts and restoration of the tax burden to those who can afford most to sacrifice on behalf of their country's well-being. A nation that is in deficit is a nation less and less able to afford its own defense and security.

8) We will work towards effective economic policies, mandating improvements in infrastructure and moving towards net neutrality, so that anybody who pays for the same bandwidth can get the same bandwidth. We will work towards the diversity of voices in the media, not against it like the Republicans have over their years of majority.

9) We will work towards dealing with global warming, rather than try to manufacture controversy where none exists. We will restore America as a nation of scientific authority and integrity, and end this period of being a laughing stock to the world.

10) We will once again make America a leader in scientific innovation, and return good-paying skilled jobs to this country where they belong

These are but a few of the benefits those who elect a Democratic majority will see. The more of you vote for the new majority, the stronger our voice in calling for change.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 7, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #193833


Having a plan before being elected is no only traditional, its important. Look at the “Contract with America” from the ‘94 Republicans. That was effective. I don’t see how “vote for us because we aren’t them” is an effective platform.

You’ve listed several plans. Are they the Democrat platform? I’ve always thought you were just a blogger partial to the Democrats. Are you now saying you are a party member making policy?

Posted by: Charles Adams at November 7, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #193836


First, I have to agree with Charles. A plan is important. Without one, how will the new majority prioiritize its actions? American government is complicated and without a plan, the House will do nothing but react. While I’m ready for some change, I would prefer that those we are changing to have some capacity to lead. Leadership requires a plan. I don’t care about the details, you are right you can get to them when you have the resources. However, without a plan, how will you decide which hearings should be held first?

Without a plan how will you decide what spending is ok to cut in pursuit of the bottom-line and what spending has to go. You have listed 10 reasons to vote for Democrats, of those 6 of them will probably cost more money than is currently being spent to achieve them. Are these the only 6 things that the Democrats believe are worth spending money on, or are these just the 6 things you think the Democrats should spend money on? I’m guessing the latter. How many more are there? Which are the most important? How will the Democrats achieve #7 without a plan that sets priorities?

Second, do really beleive that America left its place as a leader in scientific innovation? You don’t really believe that the U.S. government is powerful enough to stop science in the universities, corporations, and within federal institions like the NIH, do you? (It’s not by the way). Science and technology continue to be the drivers of the U.S. economy for the long-term, we greedy Republican’s have been seeding our mutual funds and 401k’s with them for years now. I sure hope you didn’t stop when Bush took office. They sure look good today.

Posted by: Rob at November 7, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #193837

Having a plan before being elected is no only traditional, its important. Look at the ‘Contract with America’ from the ‘94 Republicans.

I remember that: term limits and balanced budget.

Posted by: bobo at November 7, 2006 3:30 PM
Comment #193838

Stephen - how do I know that you are capable of coming up with a plan if you don’t tell us what your plan is? If you are correct that people aren’t looking for a plan, then why, in the face of an unpopular war and president, aren’t Democrats winning more seats in the house and senate? It’s because the “trust me” message from a politician just doesn’t carry much weight.

Personally, though I lean conservative, I have voted Democrat in the past, and I would again, but only if you had a plan, and could convince me that your plan was better. So far I haven’t seen that, and I suspect a lot of voters have seen through the Democrat rhetoric as well.

Instead of a plan we get Kerry trying to insult the president, botching the joke, and then flying off the handle when accused of insulting the troops. People are looking for more than that, and, frankly, the democrats haven’t delivered.

Posted by: nchoosier at November 7, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #193843

I beg to differ, Stephen. It is not perspective they are looking for. The majority of Americans are looking for positive results - on securing our borders, ending deficits, wage increases, cheaper cleaner energy, better education, resolution and withdrawal from Iraq, and an end to the bribes, blackmail, and an end to wealth influence on government trumping any and all the previous items mentioned.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 7, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #193844

Take all you want of a plan but I don’t believe the Republicans have a plan. They speak of goals, “to win the war..” “to stay the course” etc, but those are not plans. At least it seems to me the Dems, while not being all on the same page and agreeing on “a plan”, are willing to consider differing opinions and debate to work toward a plan that is workable. The Republicans with all their power have not welcomed debate, and seem to follow with blinders their illlustrious leader right down the tubes.

Posted by: Don at November 7, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #193845

1) Might not be too bad of an idea, although I’m sure that when the left starts “cultivating” their actions again, you all won’t find any problem with it anymore.

2) How do you know your “goal” will be any different than the “course” we are on right now? Do you know what the “course” we are staying is?

3) So you have no plan for any reform. We should just trust you, right? No biggie. You all will start pushy your far-left reform again and you will be voted out, again.

4) K-Street? China? Monks? All the same.

5) Hmmm? New Democrats adding room towards the center? Why would moderate Dems be voted in? Could it be because moderate Dem voters were systematically excluded from the Dem party by the ideologues of the Far Left and you guys are FINALLY seeing that you actually need their votes?
Again though, just as you pushed to far left during the 90’s and the right has pushed to far right recently, you will do it again and you will fall again.

6) That would be nice.

7) Where the spending cuts come from is always the divider isn’t it. And taxing success will only work for so long. Would be nice to reduce the deficit though. Too bad you guys will just waste the money on your pet projects though.

8) Sorry, but I don’t envy other peoples “bandwidth” enough to make that a factor.
Not sure what you mean by diversity of voices in the media though. Does that mean you would actually favor making it liberal?

9) Global warming? Just be fair and practical to your own country and your fellow Americans. You haven’t shown that you will in the past, why believe you now?
Laughing stock to the world? What a petty thing and is only true due to partisan beliefs.

10) Good! Didn’t know this all started under Bush, but hell, if you would actually do this, I would be all for it.

“These are but a few of the benefits those who elect a Democratic majority will see. The more of you vote for the new majority, the stronger our voice in calling for change.”

The only change would be that you would then share the same ideology as those in power and rather than making-up and digging for problems you would be making-up excuses and defending what you once complained about.

Posted by: kctim at November 7, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #193848

Charles Adams-
It’s not about them or us. It’s about the issues. But more than that, it’s about creating robust debate again. Americans’ big problem with the Republican party at this point, is that they are leaving us with no alternatives on a great many issues, even while huge problems crop up with their choices, their plans.

So, not having an explicit plank-by-plank plan here isn’t a liability. It’s what people want: options. They want folks to discuss things once again, rather than things just moving mindlessly down the party line.

Any plan for political office would require that we know the make up of the House. We won’t know everything until things come together. Regardless, those who win will have a couple months to come up with the basic agenda. I want them to do that there, to focus on it with races won and distractions out of the way.

On my other point, I believe we are slipping on scientific innovation. Republicans have encouraged a strongly anti-scientific attitude in their rhetoric, have consistently worked to surpress, rationalize, edit out and raise false controversies about science. People practically had to beat them over the head to get them to admit to things like the addictive and carcinogenic nature of cigarettes. And tell me, what Party is it that habitually pushes Creationist and Intelligent Design theories in science classes?

As for investments, I’m not yet at that point in my life.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 7, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #193850

Part of Obama’s interview with David Remnick:

“I think this is the historical moment we’re in — we have come to define religion in absolutist, fundamentalist terms. So to be a believer is to be a fundamentalist in some fashion. And I guess what I was trying to describe is a faith that admits doubt, and uncertainty, and mystery. Because, ultimately, I think that’s how most people understand their faith. In fact, it’s not faith if you’re absolutely certain. There’s a leap that we all take, and, when you admit that doubt publicly, it’s a form of testimony.”

He’s saying that you don’t need to blindly follow an ideology to have faith. If Bush has shown anything it’s how badly things can go when people aren’t willing to change course as events progress. We’ll plan - but we won’t be dogmatic about it.

Posted by: Max at November 7, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #193859

We can come up with plans, but we’re going to come up with it together, instead of having central planning impose it on everybody before hand. The Republicans could do The Contract with America because of the way the party is centralized.

I don’t think for the lack of that, people are unclear on our stands.

As for winning more seats? We’ll have to see. You do have to take into account the Gerrymandering. If it weren’t for the creative mapmaking of the Republican party, they would be suffering far greater losses.

As for Kerry? Guys not running, and he actually apologized for his offense.

As for who you vote for? If the parties don’t guide your decisions, look at the candidates.

Lastly, I would hold off on saying Democrats haven’t delivered until the next election, because while relating ones agenda in an election is important, one’s record and behavior in office is more important. Vote this time for change, next time to punish or reward who you see fit.

David R. Remer-
The Republicans’ failure to achieve positive results in part comes from the rigidity and narrowness of their views. If they are unwilling to take a different direction in thought, a different direction in policy is impossible.

1)Actually, I would have a real problem with Democrats following in Bush’s footsteps. I would be even more angry with a Democratic president doing that. You assume my annoyance with Bush on that subject was partisan first. It wasn’t. I don’t appreciate being lied to by anybody.

On a side note to this point, I resent your insult to my integrity. When I felt Clinton was screwing up foreign policy, I didn’t keep silent, I told people I thought he was going about it wrong. Maybe its easy to assume for rhetorical reasons that your adversary is two-faced in

2)I’m pretty sure that Democrats are smart enough to know what we were elected to do. However, I think they face the same issue the Republicans face here. If the results of Iraq begin to improve along the president’s lines, we would probably not look the gift horse of improving conditions in the mouth. But such improvement is unlikely. The real question as to effectiveness, is what we could do to change things short of defunding the war, which would be political suicide for us.

3)Democrats have in the past offered up bills for reform. I think we have plenty of usable legislation to offer, given the chance. When we talk about plans, we’re talking about massive agendas that are unlikely to be executed as planned.

4)The abuses you mention are nowhere near as sophisticated or far reaching as the organized influences of the K-Street Project. Look it up.

5)There were imbalances in 1994, but I think the moderates and independents were already on the Republican’s side for some time by that time. It was a combination of Democratic problems with corruption, attrition of favored incumbents, and The impression Clinton gave of an overbearing agenda that shifted things to the Republicans.

The thing to observe is the length of time it took people to get sick of the Republicans and the right-wing influence.

Now, can Democrats make people sick of us? I’m sure we could. It’s something we’ll have to work on.

7)First, we know our vulnerabilities. I think the Republicans spent as much as they did because they believed they could get away with it. We are not so overly confident. Spending cuts are going to be controversial, but we have a good political basis for supporting Pay-Go. It’s got the imprimatur of the Clinton success to make it party consensus.

8)The Democratic policy would treat internet connections as a common carrier service. Buy a T1, get full speed. No sweetheart deals for certain customers, giving them an advantage over others who have bought the same connection, just equal connect for equal rates.

As for what the diversity of the voices are, It’s up to people themselves. The internet carriers should not decide the balance, the people should.

9)Who do you think worked Kyoto, who is talking about Inconvenient Truths? We aren’t going in there and editing the work of scientists because of our beliefs. We are ready to face the reality that Republicans will not.

I think it’s easy to carp about what Democrats might do, or give the excuse that the Democrats don’t have plans, but I think you miss an important point: You will not see improvement in these issues under Republicans. As much as you dislike the Democrats, we’re not carved in stone on the issues. We’re your best chance of flexibility, responsibility and accountability.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 7, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #193866

Stephen, the national Republican party is not more “centralized” than the national Democratic party. To some extent, the Democrats, like any party out of power, is not centralized to the extent that they don’t have to make any of the specific choices that go along with governing.

Gingrich’s Contract with America succeeded (at least as a campaign strategy) because it packaged and put forth an agenda which was quite popular with the American public.

The reason the Democrats do not attempt the same thing is quite simple: (1) any detailed agenda would subject them to scrutiny and (2) the entire Democratic strategy in this cycle is to run stealth campaigns in which they remain as ambiguous as possible to capitilize on public discontent with Congress and Bush.

I’m not saying it’s a bad strategy on the part of Democrats—it makes a great deal of sense. One thing is for sure, however: wielding power is much trickier and more complicated than getting it, and the Democrats won’t be able to remain a stealth party where large numbers of people project their wishes for something “different” if they’re faced with actual responsibilites for governing.

Eventually, those differences WILL be aired, and that’s when the real trouble will start for Democrats.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 7, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #193869


If the democratic party would have had a plan I would have voted democratic this year. I understand the Republicans have messed things up. You just didn’t give me anything to vote FOR. You want me to vote to place Nancy Pelosi two heart beats from commander and chief without a plan?

Just “trust us”. Baloney.

I think it we there are some positives for having your crooks watching my crooks. I think gridlock will be good for the markets. And I also think (assuming the dems take the house) that it will FINALLY FORCE the dems to come out of hiding and tell the world what they believe. (Except we all know you had Bush. We got that).

I am a bit pessimistic. Republican leaders are corrupt, and Democratic leaders not ready for prime time. The house looks like a freak show going forward. Should be fun debating though.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 7, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #193876

“Republican leaders are corrupt, and Democratic leaders not ready for prime time. The house looks like a freak show going forward. Should be fun debating though.”


Posted by: Diogenes at November 7, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #193881

I have to take issue with the idea that Republicans have a plan, except to elect Republicans.

Can one Conservative on this blog tell me what the plan for Iraq is? “Staying-the-course” doesn’t or “Cut-and-run” are not plans BTW. Something with some substance more along the lines of the immediate post-war plans drawn up and IGNORED by Rumsfeld and this administration.

Posted by: Chris2x at November 7, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #193884

ask the neocons chris2x, the conservatives are no longer running the show in the republican party.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 7, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #193895

You know, it’s a lot easier to watch the election futures trade:

Go to and watch the election there.

Republican futures have been as low as about 54% (Percent chance of retaining control) after the exit poll info came out. Now they are over 80% chance of retaining control of the Senate.

On the house side, it’s basically all over. Congrats Dems.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 7, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #193898

Chris2x, the plan is to win. Always has been. I define winning by the ability to establish friendly ties with an Iraqi government that does not threaten its neighbors and is responsive to its people. And yes I think we can do it.

Posted by: Charles Adams at November 7, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #193900


yes…and…what’s your plan for accomplishing this goal? a goal is not a plan, after all.

i don’t see any plan coming from these neocons. they just keep saying, “we’re going to win, stay the course!”

oh yes, and “we’re not democrats! they don’t have a plan!”

if that’s a plan, then my own plan is to end world hunger, and promote world peace.

give me a f*&#’in break

Posted by: Diogenes at November 7, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #193904

I would ask you to trust us, but to keep that trust conditional on our performance. That’s how I dealt with Bush getting elected president, that’s how I approached Bush after 9/11 gave him a second chance to be a good leader.

If we do well, you might end up being more comfortable with us. If not, well, kick us out the same way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 7, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #193910

Ha Ha Ha Ha. Now for some congressional oversite.

Posted by: BillS at November 8, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #193912

Charles said,

Chris2x, the plan is to win. Always has been. I define winning by the ability to establish friendly ties with an Iraqi government that does not threaten its neighbors and is responsive to its people. And yes I think we can do it.

Shit Charles, that’s our plan too.

Except no one except the Kurds seems to like us. What exactly is working in Iraq right now? Should we have more troops so Falluja doesn’t fall to the insurgents again when we move troops to Bahgdad? Too late. Should we redeploy and let the Iraqis fight it out and declare a winner? Should we keep inserting ourselves between the revenge killers and ethnic cleansers while Sunni insurgents (and soon Mahdi Army insurgents) attack us? Are we just buying time and hoping the Iraqis will develope a collective aspiration before Iran takes over?

Should we find a real way to fund a war costing us 8 billion per month besides on the back of our children and our economy? How about thousands of dead soldiers and tens of thousands of wounded, many maimed? I’ll believe the Bush’s belief in their “plan” when Bush’s daughters sign up for active duty in Bahgdad.

I’ll say it another way. What is the plan to win? And based on events and incompetence thus far how in the hell are you convinced this administration and their Republican supporters in congress could do it?


Man, when did I start to long for the days of Republicans like George Bush (#41) and Bob Dole? Shit the Republicans made it impossible for moderates like Lincoln Chafee and Jeffords before him. At least Boehlert saw the writing on the wall and retired (seat now held by a Democrat as of tonite BTW). The neo-cons got us into this war as the practical Republicans let their party be hijacked by Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz et all and the Democrats quivered.

Posted by: chris2x at November 8, 2006 12:23 AM
Comment #193915

The loud noise outside your window tonight is the sound of the fast bus to hell coming to a screeching halt. Thank God! Those fires of hell were looking awfully close.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at November 8, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #193918

Dr. Thats good to know, I thought it was my neighbors screaming “we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it any more”

Posted by: j2t2 at November 8, 2006 1:29 AM
Comment #193920

Thank God, Dr. Poshek? Thank God?? I thought you didn’t believe in God.

Chris2x, yes I think our soldiers can win this war. If I was that strategist needed to win I wouldn’t be here talking to you.

Posted by: Charles Adams at November 8, 2006 1:48 AM
Comment #193921


oddly silent on that plan for iraq…

…kinda like your party…

what was your party’s plan for these midterms?

…yah, that didn’t work out so well either, did it.


Posted by: Diogenes at November 8, 2006 2:13 AM
Comment #193926

—Charles Adams— I believe the contract on
America was the beginning of one of our Countries most
corrupt times ever, in our History.

Posted by: -DAVID- at November 8, 2006 4:54 AM
Comment #193931


Ok, you’ve made your point about not needing a plan. Or, at least, the Dems did it for you last night.

But will they be able to come up with a plan in two months? Remember, even the Dems themselves didn’t foresee them winning both houses (assuming they win Montana).

If the Democrats pull off a Senate majority, the days of them saying “The Republicans caused this so let them deal with it” are over.

Come January, the Democrats will be in a position where they have to come up with a plan to deal with any issue or problem, whether the Republicans caused it or not.

You can’t survive as the majority by simply blaming the other side. The Republicans proved that last night.

Posted by: TheTraveler at November 8, 2006 7:04 AM
Comment #193951

Charles Adams: Not only do I believe in God, I am devout Roman Catholic who attends Mass each day. I’m not quite sure what gave you the idea I did not believe in God. I have never said nor written anything to suggest such. You must have me confused with someone else.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at November 8, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #193969


I’m surprised. You say the Republicans lost. Well, of course they did. Perhaps they tripped and fell, or cheated, taking a cab ride to the finish line. How cloying and revealing of the need to be in control, your comments are.

The Democrats did not fall or steal a cab ride. They won.

Posted by: gergle at November 8, 2006 10:07 AM
Comment #193974

Charles said,

Chris2x, yes I think our soldiers can win this war. If I was that strategist needed to win I wouldn’t be here talking to you.

Charles, I believe our soldiers are more than capable but the strategists have not or not been allowed to do their job. I am truly concerned about our men and women in Iraq, professional as they may be. Starting with Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz not listening to their generals about troop levels there has just been colossal evidence after evidence of incompetence or refusing to listen to the generals which Bush continues to lie about.

Posted by: chris2x at November 8, 2006 10:20 AM
Comment #194012

My apologies Dr. Poshek.

Posted by: Charles Adams at November 8, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #194019


I remain in steadfast in my disagreement to your premise which basically endorses, “Ready, Shoot, Aim” as an organizational principle.

Check out the garabge can theory of decision and making and organizational design: The Congress even with an agenda fits this model well. Without one, it is just short of anarchy. Leaders don’t tend to fare well in this type of organization, something to give you a little pause. The economic consequences can be staggering as well.

In addition, I don’t share your blind faith that a cohesive agenda will be formed between now and January, I hope the newly elected will prove me wrong.

Re: science and politics, most of this is hot air on both sides. The American economy is built on innovation and even the Republicans are powerful enough to stop it. Have some of them been dumb about it, yes. Have they had more than a tangential impact, no.

Posted by: Rob at November 8, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #194066

Charles Adams: :) … no problem.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at November 8, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #194172

That’s not my position.
I chose my words in my title carefully: Why Democrats haven’t needed a plan.

I quite clearly advocated getting plans together now, with the resources of the legislative branch and its investigatory and oversight powers, to create good plans. In fact, I said now was the superior time to do it. During a campaign, one might obligate oneself to a course of action that would turn out for the worse because it was conceived in ignorance of the real facts.

I don’t think anybody’s starting off with a blanks slate here, with no clue of what they want to do, and two months is quite enough time to get together some agendas and wishlists from pre-existing resources.

As for blind faith, look at the items I reeled off, and tell me that my items didn’t show up in the agendas present by my party’s leadership.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 8, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #194237

Some agendas…, hmmm.., that sounds like the problem. It needs to be one agenda in order to understand and enforce priority spending, etc.

That’s been my entire pont. Read the garbage can link. There are always solutions, there are always problems, there are always actors. Matching solutions with problems is what setting an agenda is about.

Your 10 things are not an agenda, they are a list of solutions and problems. Until the Democratic Party agrees that they are the most important 10 things that they will pursue, choosing solutions and problems to attack is a recipie for financial problems.

You have gone after the Republican’s over the past few years for being too rigid in their party loyalty. I agree from a purely political/ idealogical point of view. However, from a management perspective, it works. Pelosi is now a leader that has to manage. I hope she can put together her agenda and get people to agree to it quickly. We don’t need to pursue 214+ different ones.

Posted by: Rob at November 9, 2006 9:40 AM
Comment #194248

How do we win the war on Terror?

People will always use Fear to get elected or to get whatever they want. Motivating fear may be here to stay as an attention getting method- because it works. 9/11 worked because we reacted just the way Al Qaeda wanted us to. The Terrorists got what they wanted: our attention and the worlds focus. We not only granted them the majority of our undivided attention but we went as far as to legitimize their efforts by agreeing with them that we are in a “war” raising the lowest of criminals to the ranks of professional soldiers. They are not soldiers- they are criminals.

How do we win the so-called war on Terror? Stop calling it a War and start defining it for what it is- illegitimate acts of criminals trying to get attention for their extremist cause. Once we start calling them criminals and once we anticipate and minimize the attention or notoriety they receive we will start ‘winning’. After the attacks on 9/11 the whole world (except a few thousand extremists) were ‘with us’. Now most of the world is against us. The ignorance and bravado that lead us here is regrettable- but focusing on it and learning from it is necessary so that the rest of the world understands that we will stop legitimizing the terrorists’ extremist cause.

How will we know when we are winning or have won? We will know we are winning when our people as well as the majority of the people of the world blame the extremists and not the United States for the world’s un-rest. The USA has the power to enhance understanding through the power of the media. However we are not just talking about meaningless words- we are talking about un-solicited words that are inspired by our peace keeping and peace promoting actions. We need to hold meetings with the people in power all over the world, and they need to understand that the money we previously spent on a ground war will keep flowing (for a few years) for not a war- but to promote the peace and to catch international criminals. We will support legitimate governments- but we will no longer occupy any foreign lands as an army. Instead we will use tactical appropriations, the media, meetings with peace-makers, and special forces (police actions used quietly and behind the scenes) to help keep and promote the peace. We will champion the cause of the good people in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, etc- and help them based on their terms and not ours.

Our presence in Iraq has become a distraction and has had the opposite effect that we wanted- it has inspired extremists. We need to turn-around the way people everywhere think about us so that the average person on the street in Baghdad or Kabul or Tokyo is mad at the extremists and feels that the infrastructure, the Schools, Government and Hospitals (or whatever the good people need our dollars to help build or re-build) is being ruined by extremists. We need to pull all profiteers and contractors from Iraq (etc). Any building should be done by Nationals- although the dollars should come from us (for a few more years).

Once the people of the world blame extremists and not the U.S. for the unrest in the world (like they did on 9/11) we will be ‘winning’ the very regrettably named ‘war on terror’.

Posted by: John Radwell at November 9, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #194266

The Democrats have a hundred hours plan for legislation, which means they’re passing an agenda they’ve pretty much prepared beforehand. I never said the Democrats never had a plan, I just said they weren’t relying on it to get elected. Americans wanted a different choice, and now they’ve got one.

On the subject of management, I think I’d have to differ with you on that. In fact, I’ve written a new article on that matter only recently, entitledFailure Analysis.

There’s a name for excessive discipline within an organization: groupthink. The leaders at the top, or the consensus within an organization are not always correct in their theories.

If the group is too good at dispelling or surpressing doubts, then legitimate doubts and contradictory theories with the bad, and people won’t react properly to their situation.

The Bush Administration presents the apotheosis of that problem, an administration mired in groupthink on so many issues that they simply seemed cut off from reality to the average voter. The Republicans lost congress in part because they weren’t helping the administration to come back to Planet Earth.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 9, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #194280


You are positing this as if the only choice is gruopthink or anarchy. This is not the case.

I don’t mind disagreement on the issues, what I mind is not having a single statement of the issues that the Democrats want to debate and push. I heard Pelosi on NPR yesterday put forward an agenda. On a separate show, I heard Waxman talk tangentially about an agenda. They didn’t match. That is my problem.

You are right, the Democrats didn’t have to have one to win the elections. They do have to have one to lead. And they can only have one. There are enough distractions in government that require variance from the agenda. The Republicans will have an agenda of their own, that will differ from the Democrats. The Whitehouse agenda will likely differ from the House Republicans as well. Since the Democrats don’t have one, they will now have to manage more than three or basic competing interest that they should have. It is a recipie for trying to be all things to all people, and I’m confident that will lead to further deficit spending and not the other. I sure hope they prove me wrong.

Posted by: Rob at November 9, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #194451

For a plan see
The Courage of our Convictions
A manifesto for democrats
by Gary Hart

quoting from his appearance on Jon Stewart:

“One nation, pursuing social justice, we believed in international alliances to make us secure, John Kennedy said we owed something to this country and Lyndon Johnson restored equality and justice, and that is all the democratic party needs to say because all of those principals, those beliefs, are different from the Rpblcn party.”

Posted by: ohrealy at November 10, 2006 12:34 PM
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